Phrae – A Destination for Unique Cultural Exploration in Thailand
In Thailand, there are many provinces with unique characteristics and places you can explore. Each of them provides a certain kind of charm that attracts tourists who are looking for something new to experience and encounter.
General Information of Phrae
Phrae is one of the province that provides the uniqueness that most tourists are looking for. This province is located in the northern region of Thailand with an area of more than 6500 square kilometers and 555 kilometers away from Bangkok. In fact, the province is surrounded by mountains on all sides with level plains in the middle of the province.
The history of Phrae goes back to the founding of Chiang Mai when it was the capital city of Lanna Kingdom. Thus, it is a very old community with much history. The amazing thing about this place is that it has large reserves of teakwood and teak forests. You can see many old Thai houses that were built with teakwood in this province.
How to travel to Phrae
There are a bunch of options you can choose to travel here. The first option is to travel by plane from Don Muang Airport in Bangkok. There are daily flights available but be sure to purchase the ticket beforehand. If you do not want to fly, you can travel by the bus instead. Just take the bus from the Northern Bus Terminal in Bangkok and you will be here in no time. You could always choose to drive here yourself if you would like to, which tends to be the most convenient way of traveling. After you have arrived, you will be amazed of what this province has to offer.
Things to do in Phrae
There are quite a lot of places that you can explore in the province of Phrae, but here are the most famous attractions that you should visit.
Wat Phra That Cho Hae
The first place is Wat Phra That Cho Hae which is the temple that was built along with the province itself. If you visit Phrae, it is unacceptable if you are not visiting this place at all. The detailing of this temple is truly magnificent and eye catching. You will surely cannot miss this place once you are close to it.
The next attraction is more of a place that produces a unique product for your amazement. The product is being produced at Ban Tung Hong in the inner city of Phrae. This product is called Mor Hom which is a dyed fabric that you can only find in Phrae.
Many tourists travel to Phrae because of this fabric and it is a must wear for many of them. It truly represents the culture and traditional fashion of the people of Phrae. It is best to wear them and take pictures to let your Thai friends know that you are visiting Phrae! As Phrae is famous for its large reserves of teakwood, this wood has been used to build many houses in the province, including the very old ones. Some of the old teakwood houses are built since the reign of King Rama V which is more than a hundred years old. Each of the houses will have different styles of architecture and unique characteristics. This place is also an important place in the history of Phrae.
Vongburi House is a pink building in both its exterior and interior which is decorated with fretwork of more than a century old. The building was built using the golden teakwood with a Thai-Lanna and European style. Also, you can see many valuable artifacts inside of the structure.
Khum Jao Luang
Khum Jao Luang is an award-winning teakwood house that has an underground prison which was actually used before King Rama V liberated the slaves. It was built using only teakwood with no foundation pile at all. Other than this house, there are also masterpieces of teakwood house that you should see.
Above places are famous attractions that you should all see when you come to Phrae, but there are more places that is worth going to which are not entirely tourist attractions.
Wat Phra That Suthon Mongkhon Khiri
The first recommended place by the local is Wat Phra That Suthon Mongkhon Khiri which is one of the most beautiful and humongous places in the entire northern region of Thailand. It contains all of the eleven superb arts of Lanna places and you can see them all here. Once you have seen it, you will not be able to take your eyes away from their beauty. The temple itself is truly breathtaking to see in which it is the reason why the place is so well respected by the locals here.
Komol Old Cloth Local Museum
If you are the one for museum, then you should not miss the next place. Komol Old Cloth Local Museum is the place that collects all of Thai’s old cloths in which all of them can be traced back to more than a hundred years ago. There are many showcases of the cloth that has received an award from both domestically and internationally.
If you have watched some Thai dramas or shows, most of the apparels are made here at this museum, including Thai National Clothes for both international and domestic beauty pageant. If you are wondering what the styles of Thai fashion for each of the provinces are, you can see all of the magnificent costumes here. You can also buy the cloth if you would like to from the shops.
Pae Muang Phee Forest Park
The next place that is worth visiting is Pae Muang Phee Forest Park which contains one of the most beautiful stones and terrain in Thailand. The rock formation is caused by the weathering of nature that help shape the rock into a beautiful geological site. You can walk on the path which is carved entire by nature without any human intervention here.
Chang Pa Dan
The last place is Chang Pa Dan in which the locals called it the roof of Phrae and it is also the highest point of Phrae. It is the mountain that you could walk up to watch beautiful sceneries at the sightseeing spot, but be very careful of the uneven ground and the steep slope, including some sharp rocks.
Living in Phrae
The motto for Phrae is Mor Hom and Teakwood, The Land That Phra Lo loves, Cho Hae of the City, The Famous Pae Muang Phee, and Kind-Hearted People of Phrae.
To get around the city
Yyou can easily walk from place to place or you can take the bus at the bus station in the city center. Alternatively, you can use the motorcycle taxis and the three-wheel pedal tricycles, but make sure that you bargain for the price before you get on them.
There are quite a few hotels ranging from low to high-end hotels, but there are no hotels near the tourist zones. The price can go as low as 300 baht per night to a thousand baht or more. Enjoy your time here at Phrae!
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